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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Economics
Working Paper Series
A Revealed
Preference Approach to
Understanding Corporate Governance Problems:
Evidence from Canada
Robert S. Chirinko
Huntley Schaller
Working Paper 02-46
November 2002
Room
E52-251
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge,
MA 02142
This paper can be downloaded without charge from the
Social Science Research Network Paper Collection at
http://ssm.com/abstract_id=359 1 80
MASSACHUStnS
IMSTITUTE
OF TECHNOLOGY
)
A
Revealed Preference Approach
To Understanding Corporate Governance Problems:
Evidence From Canada
Abstract
Empire -building by managers implies that they use a lower effective discount
rate in making investment decisions. We use actual investment decisions to measure
the gap between the manager's effective discount rate and the market rate. Our
empirical work is based on panel data for 193 Canadian fimis. Distinctive
institutional features, such as interrelated groups of Canadian firms and concentrated
share ownership, allow us to quantify the sensitivity of effective discount rates and
governance problems
to these institutional control
mechanisms. For the firms most
be affected by the agency problems highlighted by Jensen (1986), estimated
discount rates are 350-400 basis points less than the market rate, supporting the Free
likely to
Cash Flow view
govemance problems distort finn
Flow problems have a stock of
22% higher than would prevail under value
that unresolved corporate
behavior. Finns in our sample that face Free Cash
fixed capital approximately
7% to
maximizing behavior.
E2
Keywords Corporate Govemance, Business Investment, Discount Rates
TF.T.Nos: G3,
:
Corresponding Author
:
Professor Robert S. Chirinko
Professor Huntley Schaller
Department of Economics
Department of Economics
Emory
Carleton University
University
Atlanta, Georgia
USA
1
125 Colonel
By
30322-2240
PH: (404) 727-6645
FX: (404) 727-4639
Ottawa, Ontario
EM: [email protected]
EM:
PH:
FX:
Drive
K1S5B6 CANADA
520-2600 (x-375 1
(6 1 3) 520-3906
(6 1 3)
[email protected]
.
Table Of Contents
1
.
Introduction
2.
The Net Present Value Rule And The Euler Investment Equation
3.
The Econometric Equation And Estimation Strategy
1
Variables In The Econometric Equation
2. The Discount Factor And The Estimation Strategy
4.
The Canadian Dataset
1
Financial Statement Data
2.
The Market Discount Rate
3.
Summary
Statistics
5.
Assessing Corporate Governance Problems
6.
Curing Free Cash Flow Problems?
7.
Capital Structure
8.
Summary And Conclusions
And Discount Rates
References
Appendix A: Departures From Value Maximization
Appendix B: The Real Risk-Adjusted Market Discount Rate:
Variable Construction And Data Sources
Tables
1
A Revealed
Preference Approach
To Understanding Corporate Governance Problems:
Evidence From Canada
1.
Introduction
This paper proposes a "revealed preference" approach for examining corporate
governance problems in terms of discount
rates.
As
established
by many
theories,
governance problems have a direct and immediate impact on the effective discount
rate guiding investment decisions
made by
executives.
Our approach uses
actual
investment spending on business plant and equipment, and uncovers the discount
rates guiding investment behavior.
By comparing
executives and shareholders,
we
which governance problems
distort firm behavior.
Our
generate
new
the discount rates used
evidence quantifying the extent to
between discount
analysis distinguishes
by
rates
used by shareholders and
those used by corporate executives. Shareholders' discount rates have been studied
by many researchers usually
in
terms of the relations
and earnings." As noted by Stein (1996) and
shareholders' discount rates have
corporate executives.
The
latter
among
stock prices, dividends,
Dow and Gorton (1997), biases in
no necessary implications
for those
used by
discount rates are critical for determining investment
spending, and hence are key to understanding governance issues and possible
distortions of firm behavior.
This study generates evidence bearing on governance problems by examining
actual patterns of investment spending to reveal the effective discount rate used
executives.
Govemance problems
arise
by
from divergent incentives and asymmetric
information between owners and executives. These conflicts, coupled with the
impossibility of writing contracts covering
all friture
contingencies, lead to unresolved
For example, see Daniels and Morck (1995) for Canada, Hall and Hall (1993) for the United
and references cited therein.
States,
2
governance problems affecting finn behavior (Hart, 1995). The Free Cash Flow
model of Jensen (1986) emphasizes
that executives
those of owners and pursue projects that,
when
have
evaluated
interests that differ
at the
from
market discount
rate
used by shareholders, have negative net present value (T^PV). Such a departure from
value maximization can be interpreted in terms of an effective discount rate that
low
While acknowledging the
relative to the shareholders' discount rate.
difficulties
caused by agency conflicts, an altemative
set
is
potential
of theories holds that
pressures operating through the capital, product, and factor markets are sufficiently
strong to largely
overcome these problems.^ From the perspective of this Perfect
Markets model, financial markets allocate resources
efficiently
and investment
decisions and discount rates remain unbiased by potential governance problems. ]n
this paper,
light
we compare
executives' and shareholders' discount rates in order to shed
on these theories of corporate governance.
The econometric equation
in the next
capital
two
that is the basis for our empirical
work
is
sections. Section 2 begins with the net present value rule
developed
used
in
budgeting and, after suitable fransformation, develops an estimating equation
that links investment spending, discount rates,
estimating equation
is
and govemance problems. This
equivalent to the Euler investment equation. Section 3
discusses specification issues, and
shows how information from the fransformed net
present value rule and variation in frrm-level panel data can "reveal" the effective
discount rate guiding investment decisions.
depreciation,
we
With adjustments
for risk
estimate the gap between the discount rates used
and
by executives and
shareholders by sorting firms into mutually exclusive and exhaustive confrasting
^
See Alchian (1950), Demsetz and Lehn (1985), and Miller (1997). Relying on legal protections
outcome of competition among states) to defend the interests of owners,
Carney (1997), Easterbrook and Fischel (1991), and Romano (1993) reach a similar conclusion
about the corporate govemance system in the United States.
(possibly determined as the
on firm
classes based
characteristics identified in the literature as indicating
governance problems
(e.g.,
firms with high free cash flow and poor investment
opportunities).
Section 4 discusses the sources and construction of the variables in our panel
dataset containing 193 Canadian firms.
Canada
is
a useful "laboratory" in
which
to
study corporate governance in light of the recent challenge to the Berle-Means
perspective advanced by
La
and Shleifer (1999). They
Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes,
argue that the Berle-Means firm with widely-dispersed ownership
rather than the rule for industrialized
exceptions are the United
is
the exception
and industrializing economies. The notable
Kingdom and
the United States
where
90% and 80%,
These prototypical Berle-Means
respectively, of the largest firms are widely held.
economies contrast with a comparable sample average of 24%." However, the
Canadian economy occupies an exceedingly useful middle ground with 50%) of large
firms being widely held. Consequently, there
variation with
which
to study corporate
is
a notable
govemance
amount of institutional
issues.
The
existence of
concentrated share ownership in Canada and interrelated groups of Canadian frrms
allow us to assess the sensitivity of the executives' discount rates to these distinctive
institutional structures.
Empirical results are contained in the next two sections. In Section
the Perfect Markets model, but find strong support for the Free
"Jensen firms"
~ those firms most
flow discussed by Jensen (1986)
likely to suffer
statistical significance
ability
reject
Cash Flow model.
discount rates 350-400 basis
by shareholders. With
the
economic and
of Free Cash Flow problems established. Section 6 assesses the
of various mechanisms
The ownership
we
from the agency costs of free cash
~ have risk-adjusted
points lower than the discount rates used
5,
figures are from
to attenuate these
La
problems.
Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes,
We document that
and Shleifer (1999, Table
II. B).
4
concentrated ownership
is
associated with higher (less distorted) discount rates for
Jensen firms.
Section 7 apphes our procedure for estimating effective discount rates to
capital structure issues. In a recent survey
that a unified theory
lists
the Free
of the
literature,
of capital structure applicable to
Cash Flow and Pecking Order models
Does our evidence favoring
the Free
firms has not emerged, and
all
as
Myers (2001) emphasizes
two of the leading
Cash Flow model, preclude
theories.
the empirical
importance of the financing problems highlighted by the Pecking Order model?
measure the
distortions associated with these
estimated fi-om a
common
models
in
fi-amework, and find that, for
We
terms of discount rates
some
firms at
some
times,
Free Cash Flow problems are important, while at other times, perhaps for the same
firm,
Pecking Order problems are important.
Section 8 presents a
summary and
shareholders' discount rates,
conclusions.
By comparing executives' and
we document that govemance problems
of the
sort
emphasized by Jensen's Free Cash Flow model are substantial and reduced by the
close monitoring afforded
by concentrated ownership. The
firms identified in this study
is
approximately
capital stock
of Jensen
7% to 22% too large because of
govemance problems.
2.
The Net Present Value Rule And The Euler Investment Equation
The general
principle guiding our estimation strategy
is
to infer discount rates
used by corporate executives fi^om the patterns of their actual investment spending.
The estimating equation
is
based on the net present value (NPV) rule used
budgeting that links investment spending, discount
problems. This section shows
how
rates,
and corporate govemance
a simple transformation of the
NPV mle generates
the Euler equation usually derived fi-om the standard intertemporal
investment spending found in the economics
literature.
in capital
model of real
5
We begin with the fundamental capital budgeting decision rule that identifies
positive
NPV projects by comparing the marginal costs and benefits from acquiring
an additional unit of capital,
00
S
MIC, <_
R=
ICFt+j
R\
(1)
l/(l+r),
where MIC,
is
the
(2)
sum of the purchase
price of a
new
unit
price of output and the marginal adjustment cost at time
t,
of capital relative to the
the ICFi+j's are the
incremental cash flows per unit of capital associated with the project that will accrue
in current
and future periods, and
real risk-adjusted discount rate,
(
1
) is
R is the real
The
r.
discount factor defined in terms of the
firm should continue to acquire capital until
satisfied with equality.
To
assuming
derive the Euler investment equation from the
marginal investment equates benefits and costs, and hence (1) can
that the
be analyzed as an equality for period
S
ICF,+j RJ
= ICF,+
j=0
Consider the
both sides by
t
as follows,
00
00
MIC, =
NPV mle, we begin by
S
ICF,+j
R^
(3)
j=l
NPV rule in period t+1
R and redefine the
j
and, to facilitate eventual cancellation, multiply
index appropriately.
For expositional convenience, the derivations
in this section are
based on the assumptions of a
constant discount rate and non-depreciating capital. TTiese assumptions can be relaxed if the
estimating equation
is
derived from a dynamic optimization problem with variational methods. See
Chirinko (1993) for a formal analysis of the Euler equation. Risk-adjustment
4.2 and
Appendix B.
is
discussed in Section
OO
R
*
MIC,+,
00
E
= R
S
=
ICF,+i+j RJ
j=0
-
(MICt
Equation (5)
is
-
R
*
(4)
j=l
All future ICF's can be eliminated
ICFt
ICF.^j R^.
=
MIC,+,)
by subtracting
(4)
from
(3)
and rearranging,
0.
(5)
the Euler investment equation describing optimal investment behavior
and the intertemporal tradeoff between costs and benefits of acquiring an additional
unit of capital.
To
obtain an intuitive understanding of the Euler equation, assume
that the firm is currently
on the path of optimal
capital accumulation.
the firm will be indifferent to an increase in capital
of
1
by
1
unit in period
unit in t+1, thus leaving the capital stock unaffected
The benefit of this
stock
is
costly,
hypothetical change
represented
and the Euler investment equation
investment cost incurred in
t
remain on
its
sets
by
t
now need to
this path,
and a decrease
from period t+1 onward.
ICFt.
Changing the
capital
ICFt equal to the marginal
minus the marginal investment cost saved
saving arises because the firm does not
capital to
is
Along
in t+1 (this
acquire an additional unit of
optimal accumulation path). The t+1 saving
is
placed on a
present value basis by the firm's one-period discount factor, R.
3.
The Econometric Equation And Estimation Strategy
3. 1.
Variables In The Econometric Equation
The econometric equation used
rule. In
order to estimate (5),
we need to
subscript indexes firms. MlCj^t
4.
1 .)
in estimation is
and marginal adjustment
is
the
costs.
based on the transformed
specify MICi,t, ICFjt, and
sum of purchase
costs (p
i.t,
R,,t,
NPV
where the
i
discussed in Section
We assume (as is standard in the literature) that
marginal adjustment costs depend on the investment/capital ratio (INVTi,t), and are
.
defined by a second-order Taylor expansion.
=
MICi.t
p,,,
+
+ ailNVT,,, + a2lNVT,,, 2x).
(oo
(6)
All variables are adjusted for taxes.
With respect
to the ICF,,t,
assume
for the
moment
that the firm's production
function exhibits constant returns to scale, product markets are perfectly competitive,
and adjustment costs are absent.
In this special case, the marginal product
equals the average product of capital, where the latter
divided by the capital stock.
total variable costs, all
is
of capital
defined as total revenues less
We adopt less restrictive
assumptions by allowing the production function to be homogeneous of degree
(where ^
is
t,
not necessarily equal to unity, the value defining constant returns to scale)
and the product markets
to
be imperfectly competitive. Rewriting the revenue
function (which reflects both production and adjustment costs), using Euler's
Theorem on Homogeneous Functions, and rearranging terms
product of capital,
=
ICFi,t
we
v|/*REV,,t
and
returns to scale
\j/
>
1
y
is
-
COST,,t
-
(oo
+
ailNVTi.t
a parameter capturing the
=
0),
and
4.
1
y
(7) equates marginal
Lastly, an error term
See Section
costs, respectively, divided
combined
effects
for details
(e,,.t)
is
(7)
by the
of non-constant
to scale implies that
returns to scale or non-competitive product markets,
In the special case described above,
(the a's
+ a2lNVTi/)*INVTi,,
and imperfect competition. Increasing returns
Under decreasing
.
marginal
obtain the following specification,
where REVi,t and COST,,t are revenue and variable
capital stock,
to isolate the
y<
1
equals one, marginal adjustment costs are zero
and average products of capital.
added
to the
about tax adjustments.
Euler equation.^ These considerations
,
8
lead to the following estimating equation that
-
ICF,,,
where
3.2.
(MIC,,,
Rj,t is
R,, * MIC,,t+i)
-
=
is
the basis for the empirical results,
(8)
e,,,
the discount factor to be discussed in the next sub-section.
The Discount Factor And The Estimation Strategy
The discount
factor contains three components: the shareholders' discount rate
c
(r
i,t,
equal to the risk-adjusted real market interest rate), a firm-specific geometric
depreciation rate
(5i),
used by executives
(r
and the gap (possibly equal to zero) between the discount
i,t)
rates
and shareholders. To further motivate our revealed
preference approach with
its
focus on discount rates, Appendix
parsimonious model showing
A contains a
how utility-maximizing behavior by managers with
a
preference for empire-building implies that the discount rate used by executives will
be
less than that
The
used by shareholders. This gap
is
represented by a parameter,
quantitative impact of governance problems on firm behavior
by comparing the investment behavior of contrasting
classes of firms
is
^.
assessed
and using
that
information to infer the discount rates being used by executives. Classes are defined
by
characteristics identified previously in the literature as indicating
governance
problems. For example, the governance problems emphasized by Jensen
for firms with high
fi^ee
these characteristics
criteria
cash flow and poor investment opportunifies. Since some of
may change
we
for a given firm over time,
we evaluate the
sorting
recognize the possibility that factors other than governance
If the Euler equation is derived
is
occur
and form our contrasting classes for each firm/year observation. In computing
the estimates,
term
may
from a formal dynamic optimization problem,
this stochastic error
linked directly to expectation errors and technology shocks.
With depreciating
capital, the saving in
(1-5) units of surviving capital.
marginal investment costs in period t+1
is
lowered
to
only
9
problems may affect discount
and capture the impact of these factors by
rates,
including an additional term in the discount rate,
common
(^,
to all firms in the
sample. With the sorted samples, distortions due to governance problems are
measured by the parameter
particular
(j),
which
estimated only for the class associated with a
is
governance problem. These considerations lead
to the following
formulation of the discount factor.
Ri,,
=
(j)
where
(1-6,)
/
((l+r\t)(l+C +
= (r\t-r\,).
Tu^ is
(9b)
an indicator variable
free cash flow
—
1
if a
firm falls into a particular class
and poor investment opportunities),
systematic risk and depreciation (which differ
affecting
(9a)
r,,t*(t))).
firms, our
all
among fmns) and
arise
correlated with the error temi.
because of measurement or specification
mental variables estimation technique
Moments technique (GMM) because
is
it
required.
error.
An
(j),
factor
the gap
contemporaneous and
additional correlation
Consequently, an instru-
We use the Generalized Method of
delivers consistent parameter estimates and
allows for a general pattern of conditional heteroscedasticity
See Hansen (1982). The instruments are a constant,
Ri,.-i(I-8,)p',,t-i,
is
common
rates.
Lastly, regarding estimation, the Euler equation contains
might
the
measure of corporate governance problems
may be
high
otherwise. Conditional on
between the executives' and shareholders' discount
future variables that
(e.g.,
REVi,t.i,
Ri,,-i(l-5,)INVT,.-i, R,,,-i(l-5,)INVTV,,time
(t),
All variables are adjusted for taxes as discussed in Section 4.
1
.
in the residuals.
COSTj.n, ENVT.t-i, INVT',.t-i, p i,t-i,
time squared (t"), and Tu (cf. (10)).
The instruments
values of the terms in the Euler equation (8) and the auxiliary relations ((6),
(7),
are primarily lagged
and
(9)).
Such
instruments are chosen because they are valid (uncorrelated with the error term) and relevant
(correlated with the variables appearing in the regression).
We also use a constant time, and time
squared, which are attractive instruments because they are unequivocally exogenous.
difficult to estimate ao; instead,
we
It
proved
undertake a grid search, choosing the value ao that minimizes the
10
4.
4. 1
The Canadian Dataset
.
Financial Statement Data
Our empirical work
is
based on a balanced panel of 1 93 Canadian firms for the
period 1973 to 1986. Various computations and the presence of variables dated t+1 in
The
the estimating equation reduce the period used in estimation to 1975 to 1985.
basic sources are the
are
CANSIM,
Laval, and Financial Post databases.
comparable to the often used
CRSP
The
latter
two
COMPUSTAT databases, respectively,
and
for U.S. finns.
The estimating equation
(8) requires data for investment, revenues, costs,
the physical capital stock. Three series are
drawn
directly
Annual Corporate Database. Investment (INVTi.t)
property, plant and equipment.
Revenue (REVjt)
is
is
from the Financial Post
gross capital expenditures on
net sales. Cost (COSTi,t)
revenue minus operating income, where operating income
the principal activities of a business after deducting
and
all
is
the
is
income derived from
operating expenses except
depreciation, depletion and amortization, interest expense
and miscellaneous expenses
included in the other income/expense category. All three series are divided by the
current dollar replacement cost of the fixed capital stock (K$i,t).
This capital stock
is
constructed for a given firm in two steps.
estimates the depreciation rate
The
first
step
We calculate firm-specific depreciation rates
(5,).
based on the firm's reported depreciation. The details are based on the procedure used
by Salinger and Summers (1983).
which evolves as
K$i,t
=
(K$j,t-i+Ii,t)
gross capital expenditures and
machinery and equipment
The tax-adjusted
GMM criterion.
A recursive formula is then used to calculate K$i,t,
p'
t
is
* (p'
t/p' t-i)
* (l-S,),
where
Ii,t
is
current dollar
the implicit price index for business investment in
(CANSIM
series
relative price ratio,
Dl
p
i,t,
1
123).
also enters the estimating equation,
11
and equals
* (p'
i/p°t).
and provincial corporate income tax
rates
(( l-itCt-T,,tZ,)/(l-T|,,))
industries), the investment tax credit rate
depreciation allowances
domestic demand
(z,).
(CANSIM
The output
senes
1
1
1
The
tax terms capture the
sum of federal
incorporating variation across time and
(T,,t,
and the present value of tax
(itc,),
price (p"t)
is
the imphcit price index for final
30).
Variables defining the contrasting classes will be discussed below.
4.2.
The Market Discount Rate
The discount
factor
defined in (9)) depends on, inter alia, the
(R|,t,
shareholders' real risk-adjusted discount rate,
n,t
=
r
,.i.
defined as follows:
((1+1,0 /(l+Tt'O)- 1.0.
(10)
This rate discounts annual cash flows fi^om the middle-of-period
period t+1
(See Appendix
.
data sources.)
inflation rate
is
B
to the middle-of-
for specific details concerning variable construction
The components of r
represented by
7i\.
j,i
are defined as follows.
which equals actual
operating in the interests of shareholders,
by
t
it
and
The one year expected
inflation. If the firm is
will use the
nominal discount
rate defined
i,,t,
i,,t
= m-Tu)i"'^\ +
where
h
is
(l-X,)i^^^^-,,„
the firm-specific leverage ratio,
provincial) of corporate
income
Paper
is
i\,
rate,
=
1^
(11)
and
+
0,,
i
,,t
taxation,
i
t,,i
is
i
the marginal rate (federal
is
the nominal, one year.
and
Commercial
the nominal, short-term, risk-adjusted cost of equity capital,
(12)
12
where
F
i
t
is
the nominal,
premium estimated by
Appendix
4.3.
B
one year
either the
risk-free Treasury Bill rate,
and
o, is the
equity risk
CAPM or the Fama-French three-factor model (see
for details).
Summary Statistics
Summary
the full sample.
statistics are
presented in Table
Columns 2-3 and 4-5
are sorted
1
for all 193 firms.
by
Column
1
is
for
characteristics defining Jensen
firms that will feature prominently in the empirical results.
13
5.
Assessing Corporate Governance Problems
In a classic paper, Jensen (1986) argues that executives are
squander resources on negative
more
likely to
NPV projects when a firm has substantial
He
tlow and poor investment opportunities.
identified the oil industry
free cash
from 1973
the mid-1980's as being particularly susceptible to these precondifions.
to
We therefore
begin by comparing the investment behavior and discount rates used by firms in the
oil
to
industry to the remaining firms.
A firni is classified as an "oil finn" if
Our
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) industry 300.
discount rate used by
oil
industry executives
shareholders' discount rate
at the
10%
level.
(r
estimates suggest that the
and
r
r
is statistically
These resuhs are consistent with Jensen's conjecture
problems and overinvestment
oil
CAPM in column 2.
significant
that,
during
finns suffered from unresolved governance
in fixed capital.
specifications reported in
risk-adjustment, either the
belongs
about 260 basis points lower than the
The gap between
).
our estimation period 1975-1985,
The
is
it
row
Fama-French
1
of Table 2 differ only by the method of
model (FF3)
three-factor
in
column
1
The gap between executives' and shareholders' discount
very similar regardless
how we
Based on FF3,
adjust for risk.
oil
or the
rates is
industry executives
use a discount rate 260 basis points lower than that used by shareholders; based on
CAPM, the comparable
figure
is
280 basis
points.
adjustment yield estimates of the gap between
of each other. This
F
estimates of r
is
r
Thus
and
r
the
two methods of risk
that are within
20 basis points
a general finding throughout our empirical results: the
*s
-
r
based on the FF3 are always close to those based on the
never diverging by more than one standard
primarily on the results based on the
FF3
error.
CAPM,
The following discussion
will focus
risk adjustment.
Table 2 also displays estimates of y, the parameter capturing deviations from
Q
In terms of equation (9),
r
equals one for
oil firms;
zero for
all
other fums.
14
constant returns to scale in production and perfect competition in the product market.
This parameter
of \|/
is
estimated precisely, and
less than unity is consistent
its
value
is
always
A value
less than unity.
with decreasing returns to scale regardless of the
competitive nature of output markets or increasing retums and a sufficient degree of
imperfect competition to force the marginal return to capital below
In either case,
in the
model
can exist
in
it
in
its
average return.
implies that the firms are earning positive economic rents.
Appendix A, such
equilibrium only
rents are important because
if the
As shown
governance problems
firm earns positive economic profits that allow
it
to "indulge" in sub-optimal investment.
A second way of identifying Jensen-type governance problems is to focus on
those firms with high
flow (FCFi)
interest
is
fi'ee
cash flow and poor investment opportunities. Free cash
defined as cash flow (revenues less cash expenses including tax and
payments)
less dividends, all for the previous year, divided
replacement value of fixed
capital.
by the
Investment opportunities are measured by the
Brainard-Tobin Q.'° With these definitions, contrasting classes are formed in a threestep process. First,
2/3 of their
for
which
TSE
we
find the firm/year observations for
industry in a given year. Second,
Q is in the bottom 2/3
of their
TSE
form the intersection of these two
sets
sample) to identify Jensen firms.
As shown
'"
we
which FCFi
we
industry in a given year. Third,
(which contains approximately one-half of the
in
row 2 of Table 2
-
is
in the top
find the firm/year observations
for the
Q is defined for the beginning of the period as follows, Q = [(E + D TDB)
[K$(1-5)(1-t)], where E
is
-
FF3
risk
K$( 1-6)7]
the market value of the firm's equity at the beginning of period
market value of existing short-term and long-term debt,
t,
/
D is the
TDB is the tax depreciation bond
representing the present value of all tax depreciation allowances claimed in the current period on
K$ is the current dollar replacement cost of fixed capital, 6 is the
T equals (l-itc-T*z) representing adjustments for the investment tax
existing capital (Hayashi, 1982),
rate
of economic depreciation,
and tax depreciation (t*z) per Section 4.1, and t is the corporate income tax rate
reflecting federal and provincial tax rates. The TDB series (as well as the present value of
credit (itc)
depreciation allowances
Salinger and
Summers
on
a unit
(1983).
of new capital)
is
calculated using the
method suggested by
15
adjustment, our estimate suggests that the executives of firms with high free cash flow
and poor investment opportunities use a discount
rate
discount rate of shareholders. This gap between
r
As
a check of the robustness of our results,
E
350 basis points lower than the
and
we
S
r
is statistically significant.
also consider a second
defined by tree cash flow in the previous two years (FCF2).
row
3 of Table 2 indicate that the
gap between
E
r
S
and
r
The
measure
results displayed in
remains economically and
statistically significant.
The above
sortings are based
on preconditions
governance problems associated with
constructed based on a
fi-ee
for the
An
cash flow.
emergence of
additional test can be
symptom of governance problems. Firms
that
have poor
investment opportunities but nonetheless continue to investment substantial sums in
We
fixed capital are likely to be suffering from unresolved governance problems.
thus create contrasting classes by sorting firm/year observations for which
bottom 2/3 of their industry
in a
Q
is in
the
given year, constmcting a separate sorting for
firm/year observations for which investment spending (relative to the replacement
value of the capital stock)
is in
the top 2/3 of their industry in a given year, and then
forming the intersection of these two
discount rate that
Table
For these Jensen firms, executives use a
340 basis points lower than
that
used by shareholders (row 4 of
2).
The
problems.
that
is
sets.
results presented in
First, the
Table 2 have two implications for governance
economically and
statistically significant
gap between
r
and
emerges from a variety of sortings strongly indicate the importance of
govemance problems
highlighted by the Free
average of the eight estimated gaps between
investment decisions for Jensen finns
is
r
Cash Flow model. Based on the
and
r
,
the discount rate guiding
325 basis points lower than
that
used by
r
16
shareholders." All of the estimates in Table 2 are statistically significant at
conventional levels. Second, the Perfect Markets model holds that markets are
largely able to
overcome corporate governance problems and hence
be any systematic gaps between
r
and
considered here. This key implication
6.
that there will not
r
based on the different classifications
is
decisively rejected in Table 2.
Curing Free Cash Flow Problems?
The
results in Section 5 indicate that
govemance problems associated with
the
Free Cash Flow model loom large for several classes of firms. Quantifying
govemance problems
in
terms of discount rates presents an opportunity to evaluate
the effectiveness of various corporate control
costs of fi'ee cash flow. In his initial article
emphasized
that leverage is a
increased debt loads borne
mechanisms
on
in
reducing the agency
free cash flow,
Jensen (1986)
key financial control mechanism and thus
by major American companies were
that the
beneficial as a
corporate control device disciplining executives. While not discounting the benefits
of leverage, Jensen's (1993) Presidential Address
to the
American Finance
Association highlighted the role of strong institutions in curbing managerial abuses.
These
institutional control
mechanisms can be assessed with our data because of the
presence of interrelated groups and concentrated ownership for
many Canadian
firms.
This section focuses exclusively on those firms suffering fi^om Free Cash Flow
problems, and quantifies the extent to which these problems are attenuated by various
The conclusion
low
market rates seems to stand in
by surveying corporate executives
(e.g., Blume, Friend, and Westerfield (1980, especially Tables 17 and 1 8) and Poterba and Summers
(1995)). The latter authors received completed questionnaires from 228 U.S. fums and, among other
that effective discount rates are
relative to
contrast to previous studies that have quantified discount rates
findings, report that hurdle rates are "distinctly higher than equity holders' average rates of return
and much higher than the return on debt during the past half-century"
(p. 43).
Apart from any
differences in methodology (survey responses vs. actual spending patterns), these
comparable
to our results
specifically
on subsets of firms most
because they apply to
likely to
all
numbers
are not
firms, while our estimating strategy focuses
be affected by a particular govemance problem.
17
control mechanisms.
We construct the sample used in this section from the full
sample of 193 fmns by identifying those firm/year observations with high
free cash
flow and poor investment opportunities. These are the same fmn/year observations
discussed in Section 5 for which the estimates presented in
row
executives use a lower discount rate than shareholders. In this section,
refer to these firm/year observations as "Jensen fimis."
determines whether this discount rate gap
(r
-
r ) for
show
2 of Table 2
Our estimation
we
that
simply
strategy
one class of Jensen firms
differs
systematically from that for a contrasting class of Jensen firms influenced by a
particular control
mechanism.
We refer to this "difference-in-the-gaps" as ^.
Contrasting classes of firms are formed by three control characteristics
—
debt, group
membership, and concentrated ownership.
Many
authors have emphasized that increased debt loads could serve as a
useful control device.
"
In principle, debt finance could curb the temptation to
squander resources in several ways: by withdrawing cash from the hands of
misbehaving executives, by increasing the danger
of the firm
in a period
of financial
distress, or
markets where effective monitoring
is
that executives
might lose confrol
by forcing finns into external
capital
undertaken by knowledgeable outsiders.
examine the effectiveness of debt as a control mechanism, we
To
classify firm/year
observations as high-debt firms if their short-term and long-tenn debt nonnalized by
the replacement value of fixed capital
industry in a given year. If debt
is
(DEBT)
is
greater than the
median
an effective confrol mechanism, then,
Jensen firms, higher debt should be associated with higher discount
case, the
gap between executives' and shareholders' discount
for their
among
rates.
rates should
In this
be reduced.
Since ^ equals
c
F
p
^
[(r High Debt Jensen " T High Debt Jensen) " (r Low Debt Jensen " T Low Debt Jensen)]
'
Among other studies
(1990), and
and the gapS
analyzing debt and control, see Grossman and Hart (1982), Harris and Raviv
Aghion and Bolton (1992).
18
(r^ - r^) are negative,
However,
as
shown
-^
will be positive //debt
row
in
1
of Table
is
an effective control mechanism.
very close to zero, and there
3, the ^'s are
is
no
evidence suggesting that debt reduces governance problems.
The second control mechanism we examine
characteristic
is
based on an
of the Canadian economy. Unlike the United
institutional
States,
Canada has
several
major Canadian industrial groups involving ownership or other connections among
many
distinct enterprises
with their
own publicly
traded shares. (Several countries
have similar interrelated firms; see La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, and Shleifer (1999)
for further discussion.)
related to a
their
A firm is classified as having "group membership" if
Canadian conglomerate
own publicly-traded
that brings together
many
it
is
distinct enterprises
with
1 'K
shares.
Each firm
typically through equity ownership.
Many
is
effectively controlled
by the group,
of the groups are associated with a
particular family or individual (e.g.. Black, Bronfrnan,
Reichman), but not
all (e.g.,
Bell Canada, Canadian Pacific).
Group membership has uncertain
effects as a
governance mechanism. For
firms in an interrelated group, long-term relations and fi^equent dealings
the lead firm and affiliates and
effective monitoring.
conclusion.
The
among
affiliates
However, recent work
theoretical analysis
~ arguably create
casts doubts
on
this
~ between
incentives for
sanguine
of Bebchuk, Kraakman, and Triantis (2000)
highlights weaknesses with a cross-ownership structure as a control mechanism.
Relative to executives in a dispersed ownership firm, the controllers of a firm with a
cross-ownership structure are entrenched; relative to an owner with a very large
equity stake, cash flow rights (and hence the incentive to create value) are low.
Consequently, governance problems for group firms
may be
greater than for other
firms.
Data on group membership, as well as concentrated ownership discussed below, are obtained from
Statistics
Canada's Intercorporate Ownership 1984.
19
Among
is
firnis
some evidence
row 2 of Table
3,
with high free cash flow and poor investment opportunities, there
that
group membership
the gap
is
associated with better performance.
between executives' and shareholders' discount
rates
In
is
about 200 basis points narrower for Jensen finns that are group members than for
Jensen firms that are independent. However, as measured by
statistically significant at
conventional levels, a result that
somewhat small sub-sample of Jensen firms belonging
-^^
may
to a
the difference
be partly due
is
not
to the
group with which the
estimates are computed.
Concentrated shareownership
Canada, unlike the United
main stock exchange
89) report that
the third control
mechanism we examine.
in excess
58% of Canadian
of 2 billion
US
In
of the finns fraded on the
States, a substantial proportion
are majority-owned or controlled
sample of firms with sales
p.
is
by
a single shareholder. For a
dollars,
Rao and Lee-Sing (1995,
companies are concenfrated (per the above
definition), while the proportion drops to
9% in
the United States. Similar
proportions are reported by La Porta, Lopez-de-Silanes, and Shleifer (1999, Table
II.B).
Nearly half of the firms
in
our
full
defined as either one shareholder having
sample have concenfrated ownership
50% or more of the
shares or as the finn
being effectively controlled by another firm. (For example, Brascan was effectively
confrolled by the Bronfhian family, although they only
The
problems
role
is
of concenfrated ownership
also ambiguous.
By
in
owned 43% of the
resolving corporate
shares.)
govemance
internalizing the costs of exercising confrol,
concenfrated ownership eliminates free-rider problems, and thus provides confroUing
owners with the incentive
For Jensen firms,
to
expend resources
this additional
to monitor
monitoring would tend to reduce the gap between
executives' and shareholders' discount rates, and thus
^.
However,
and discipline management.
for substantial levels
of concenfration,
for the owner's private benefit, as suggested
would be
fmn
reflected in a positive
resources
may be
by the premium paid on
large
directed
20
blockholdings (Barclay and Holdemess, 1989). The adverse effects of concentration
may be
particularly acute in
inherited.
Canada because many
large ownership stakes are
Morck, Strangeland, and Yeung (2000) document the detrimental
this particular
effects
of
type of ownership (dubbed the "Canadian Disease") on firm
performance. In this case,
The empirical
shareownership
is
we would
expect ^ to be negative.
results presented in
row
3 of Table 3 indicate that concentrated
associated with fewer governance problems.
executives' and shareholders' discount rates shrinks
The gap between
by more than 300 basis points
for
Jensen firms with concentrated ownership (relative to Jensen firms with dispersed
ownership), effectively eliminating the gap. These estimated ^'s are statisfically
significant at the
7.
5% level.
Capital Structure
And
Discount Rates
In a recent survey of the literature,
Myers (2001)
lists
the Free
Cash Flow and
Pecking Order models as two of the leading theories of capital structure. Does the
evidence presented so
far,
which favors the Free Cash Flow model, preclude the
empirical importance of the financing problems highlighted
by the Pecking Order
model? Not necessarily, since some firms may be constrained by a Pecking Order
while others face Free Cash Flow problems.
may vary over time. For example,
firm
may have
projects,
Even
for a given firm, these problems
with unexpected variation in product demand, a
insufficient inside funds to finance
its
positive net present value
and face relafively higher costs when securing outside finance. At another
point in time, the
same firm may
find itself with
modest investment opportunities,
surplus cash flow, and a substantial temptation to squander resources.
Such time-
varying changes in circumstances are at the core of Stulz's model of capital structure
Myers (2001
,
p.
81
),
specifically argues that
firms that are prone to overinvest."
"The free cash flow theory
is
designed for mature
21
in
which the
relative costs
mix of debt and equity
estimated from a
of governance and finance problems determine the optimal
(Stulz, 1990).
common framework
financial policy and,
more
Measuring these costs
in
tenns of discount rates
generates insights into this theory of optimal
generally, the factors affecting capital stnicture.'^
Higher costs of outside finance
arise
when
suppliers of extemal finance cannot
assess the quality of firms and their investment projects (Myers and Majluf, 1984).
Given an
inability to discriminate
between high and low quality
firnis,
'^
shareholders
add a "lemons premium" to the cost of outside finance. Adverse selecfion occurs
because high quality
firnis
tend to avoid extemal capital markets, reducing the quality
of the pool of borrowers and creating a sustainable positive difference between the
costs of inside
and outside funds. This difference creates a financial hierarchy or
Pecking Order
(in
which firms exhaust inside
fiinds before using relatively
expensive
outside fiinds), and depends on the limitations firm face in accessing extemal capital
markets.
This section focuses on those firms most likely to both need outside finance and
face a relafively higher cost for outside fiinds (thereby using a higher effective
discount rate) as predicted by the Pecking Order model.
financing problems
is
Our
strategy for assessing
similar to that for governance problems:
we
identify a subset of
firms likely to face finance constraints and, based on their pattem of investment
spending, estimate the difference in discount rates between outside and inside finance.
We use two characteristics to define contrasting classes of firm/year observations.
Firms with good investment opportunities are more
likely to
exhaust intemal sources
of finance and rely more heavily on extemal sources where financing problems
The
may
close relation between governance and finance problems has been noted in the survey of
and Vishny (1997, p. 773): "Corporate governance deals with the agency problem: the
separation of management and finance."
Shleifer
See Hubbard
(1992), and
Ng
( 1
998) for a recent survey and the work of Hubbard and Kashyap
and Schaller (1996) for related analyses.
( 1
992), Whited
22
arise.
We identify these firms by sorting the firm/year observations for which Q is in
the top 2/3 of their industry in a given year.
The second
characterisfic is based
on the
higher financing costs faced by firms with hmited access to external capital markets.
Limited access
by an
is
measured
in three
ways: by the absence of a bond rating (measured
indicator variable taking the value of one if the firm does not have a
rating, zero elsewise; data are obtained
Dominion Bond Ratings
the highest values of
bond
from the Canadian Bond Ratings Service and
by the two-thirds of firm/year observations with
Service),
DEBT (short-term and long-term debt normalized by the
replacement value of fixed capital) in their industry in a given year, or by the
two-thirds of the smallest firms (measured
by SIZE defined
in
terms of the
replacement value of the fixed capital stock). Firms that are more likely to require
high-cost outside finance are defined
by
the intersection of firm/year observations
with good investment opportunifies and limited access to external credit markets, the
latter
measured by one of the three preceding
character-istics.
In each case,
we
contrast these firms with the remaining firms in the sample.
Table 4 contains the results for sortings by finance problems. In
all
three cases,
the results clearly indicate the presence of economically important financing
problems. All estimates of differences (labeled p) between the cost of outside and
inside funds are statistically significant at the
discount rates for outside and inside funds
is
1%
level.
The
difference between the
estimated at 900 basis points
when we
focus on the lack of a bond rafing as a measure of the difficulty of accessing outside
funds, 760 basis points
when we
when we focus on high
focus on smaller firms.
If high quality
Canadian fiims prefer
levels
of debt, and 910 basis points
As with Free Cash Flow governance problems, we
to obtain
funds from the larger
US market,
these firms might
bond ratings only fi^om US rating agencies. In this case, our procedure, which is based on
ratings by Canadian rating agencies, will misclassify these high quality firms with ready access to
external capital markets. There are no firms in our sample that are not rated by a Canadian rating
agency but are rated by S&P or Moody's. Thus, there does not appear to be a flight of high quality
obtain
borrowers
to the larger
US
market and
its
rating agencies.
23
find strong evidence that financing problems are economically
These
significant.
results suggests that, consistent with the
capital structure choices are
and
statistically
model of Stulz (1990),
detennined by a mixture of governance and finance
problems whose applicability varies by firm and, for a given firm, across time.
8.
Summary And
Conclusions
new
This paper sheds
light
on long-standing corporate governance
use information from a transformed
NPV rule
issues.
We
and variation from finn-level panel
data to uncover effective discount rates. In this revealed preference approach,
effective discount rates guiding investment decisions are inferred
from the pattern of
investment spending. The gap between the discount rates used by executives and
shareholders
is
our measure of governance problems. The empirical work
is
based on
panel data for 193 Canadian firms. Distinctive institutional features, such as
interrelated groups
of Canadian firms and concenfrated share ownership, allow us to
quantify the sensitivity of discount rate gaps and governance problems to these
institutional control
Our key
mechanisms.
finding
is
Cash Flow model prove
results, executives
that the
to
governance problems highlighted
be economically and
in Jensen's
statistically significant.
Among other
of firms with high levels of free cash flow and poor investment
opportunities use effective discount rates that are 350-400 basis points
below share-
holders' discount rates. Moreover, the key implication of the Perfect Markets
-
Free
that there should not be
any systematic bias
in discount rates
~
is
model
-
decisively
rejected.
With
model,
we
this
documentation of the problems associated with the Free Cash Flow
then investigate possible cures for Jensen firms
~ those with high free cash
flow and poor investment opportunities. In our data, neither debt nor membership
an interrelated group of finns has any
in
statistically significant effect in attenuating free
24
cash flow problems. However, the gap between executives' and shareholders'
discount rates
is
effectively eliminated for Jensen firms with concentrated share
ownership. These results suggest that institutional arrangements can be effective in
curbing corporate control problems, and are consistent with Shleifer and Vishny's
(1997,
p.
769) conclusions concerning the prominent role played by large
shareholders in promoting good corporate governance.
Lastly,
we use our revealed preference
capital structure models.
For some firms
some
at
important. At other times, perhaps for the
approach to consider two prominent
same
times, Free
Cash Flow problems are
Pecking Order problems are
firm.
important. Thus, explanations of capital structure choices will have to rely on several
theories depending
on circumstances
that
vary across firms and, for a given firm,
across time.
Apart fi-om evaluating hypotheses, the parameter estimates permit us to
quantify the impact of corporate governance problems on capital accumulation.
Jorgensonian user cost of capital
is
The
the relevant price variable determining capital
accumulation, and depends on the discount rate guiding investment decisions.
When
executives use a discount rate that
is
below
that
of shareholders, the
Jorgensonian user cost will be distorted. Combining the Jorgensonian user cost with
an assumption about the price
extent to
I
elasticity
of the demand for
which Free Cash Flow problems lead firms
Q
The Jorgensonian user
cost of capital is defined as follows:
to hold too
)
or executives'
(r )
can estimate the
much
UC = (r+5)*p
F
S
rate (either the shareholders' (r
we
capital,
fixed capital.
T
,
where
r is
the discount
•
discount rate), 5
is
I
the depreciation rate, and
the price of investment goods relative to the price of output, adjusted for corporate
income
p
is
taxes,
investment tax credits, and the present value of tax depreciation allowances (Hall and Jorgenson,
1971). Intuitively, this user cost
is
the rate for renting a capital
good
for
one period. This rental
rate
good
value of economic depreciation by 5
includes a "nonrefundable security deposit" reflecting that only a fraction of the rented capital
will be returned because
in the user cost
capital
formula
of depreciation
is
(5).
Representing the
equivalent to calculating the present value of a stream of deductions for a
good depreciating according
to a declining-balance formula at rate 5.
25
With executives using discount
rates
325 basis points lower than shareholders
arithmetic average of the estimates in Table 2), the user cost of capital falls
If the price elasticities
of capital range from -0.25
to -0.75, firms suffering
unresolved governance problems have approximately
Our conclusions
for
some firms
Whether these
at
some
are that Free
times,
(the
by 29.5%.
from
7% to 22% too much capital. '^
Cash Flow problems
are quantitatively important
and can be ameliorated by concentrated ownership.
results extend to other countries, other legal
frameworks, and other
institutional settings are topics for future research.
]
Q
The percentage change
(AK/K) equals the percentage change in the
Jorgensonian user cost of capital (aUCAJC) multiplied by the price elasticity (-9). aUC/UC = (r r^)*p' / (r^+S)*p' = -0.0325 / (0.032 + 0.080) = -0.290, where the value for
is obtained from
in the capital stock
rW"
Table
and 6 equal to 0.080 is an average of our estimates of firm-specific depreciation rates
computed with firms' reported depreciation and the procedure in Salinger and Summers (1983).
AK/K = aUC/UC * (-9) = -0.290 * (-0.50) = 0.145 based on a value of 9 of 0.50.
1
26
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Hart, Oliver, "Corporate Governance:
Some Theory and
Implications," The
Economic Journal 105 (May 1995), 678-689.
Hatch, James E., and White, Robert W., Canadian Stocks, Bonds,
Inflation:
1950-1987
(Charlottesville, Virginia:
Bills,
Research Foundation of the
and
Institute
of Chartered Financial Analysts, 1988).
Hayashi, Fumio. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q:
Interpretation." Econometrica 50 (January 1982), 213-224.
A Neoclassical
Hubbard, R. Glenn, "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," Journal
of Economic Literature
2)6
(March. 1998), 193-225.
Hubbard, R. Glenn, and Kashyap, Anil, "Internal Net Worth and the
Investment Process: An Application to U.S. Agriculture, 1910-1987," Journal of
Political
Economy 100
(June 1992), 506-534.
.
29
C, "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate
Takeovers," American Economic Review 76 (May 1986), 323-329.
Jensen, Michael
Jensen, Michael
C, "The Modem
Industrial Revolution, Exit,
Finance, and
and the Failure
of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Finance (July 1993), 831-880.
La Porta, Rafael, Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio, and Shleifer, Andrei, "Corporate
Ownership Around the World," Journal of Finance 54 (April 999), 471-51 8.
1
American Corporate Governance Fatally Flawed?," in
Donald H. Chew (ed.). Studies In International Corporate Finance and Governance
Systems: A Comparison Of The U.S., Japan. & Europe (New York and Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 1997), 38-45.
Miller,
Merton
H., "Is
Morck, Randall K., Stangeland, David A., and Yeung, Bernard, "Inherited
Wealth, Corporate Control and Economic Growth: The Canadian Disease," ," in
Randall K. Morck (ed.). Concentrated Corporate Ownership (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press (for the NBER), 2000), 319-369.
Myers, Stewart C, "Capital Structure," Jowr«a/
Of Economic Perspectives
15
(Spring 2001), 81-102.
Myers, Stewart C, and Majluf, Nicholas
Investment Decisions
S.,
"Corporate Financing and
When Firms Have Information That Investors Do Not Have,"
Journal of Financial Economics
1
3 (June
1
984),
1
87-22 1
Ng, Serena, and Schaller, Huntley, "The Risky Spread and Monetary
Policy Transmission: Evidence on the Role of Asymmetric Information,"
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James M., and Summers, Lawrence H., "A Survey of U.S. Companies,
Time Horizons, and Hurdle Rates," Sloan Management Review 37 (1995), 43-53.
Poterba,
Someshwar, and Lee-Sing, Clifton R., "Governance Structure,
Corporate Decision-Making and Firm Performance in North America," in Ron
Daniels and Randall Morck (eds.). Corporate Decision-Making In Canada Industry
Canada/Financial Research Foundation of Canada Research Volume V (Vancouver:
University of British Columbia PressAJniversity of Calgary Press, 1995), 43-104.
Rao,
P.
30
Romano, Roberta, The Genius ofAmerican Corporate Law (Washington:
American Enterprise Institute Press, 1993).
Salinger,
Investment:
Michael A., and Summers, Lawrence H., "Tax Reform and Corporate
A Microeconomic Simulation Study,"
Behavioral Simulation Methods
Chicago Press
(for the
NBER),
in
in
Martin
S. Feldstein (ed.).
Tax Policy Analysis (Chicago: University of
1983), 247-273.
and Vishny, Robert W., "A Survey of Corporate
Governance," Journal of Finance 52 (June 1997), 11)1-1^?>.
Shleifer, Andrei,
Jeremy C, "Rational Capital Budgeting In
Journal ofBusmess 69 (October 1996), 429-455.
Stein,
Stulz,
An Irrational
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Rene, "Managerial Discretion and Optimal Financing Policies," Journal
ofFinancial Economics 26
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Evidence from Panel Data," Journal ofFinance 47 (September 1992), 1425-1460.
31
Appendix
A
Departures
To
From Value Maximization
further motivate our revealed preference approach, this
Appendix examines
the imphcations for discount rates of departures from value maximization
maximizing executives.
between the discount
by
utility
A parsimonious model links governance problems to the gap
rates
used by executives and shareholders. The version of the
Free Cash Flow model presented here emphasizes the
utility that
executives receive
from empire-building.
Consider the following model of a Jensen
firni,
defined as a firm where
executives obtain utility from both shareholder value and the size of the firm. Profit
(tt)
71
equals revenues (f[K,L]) less labor costs (w*L) less capital rental costs ((r+5)*K),
= f[KX] - w*L
where fIK,L]
is
wage
the
is
rate.
-
(A-1)
(r+5)*K,
a production function depending
The user
cost of funds and 5
is
on
capital (K)
cost of capital equals (r+5),
where
the rate of depreciation (see footnote
1
and labor
(L),
and
w
r is the real risk-adjusted
8 for further discussion of
the user cost of capital). (The roles of taxes and relative prices have been omitted.)
For the standard neoclassical firm, the user cost of capital
rate.
Consistent with the Free Cash
U
=
is
the appropriate discount
Flow model, executives obtain
and some other characteristic of the firm, such as
Jensen firm
is
size.
The
utility
from
profit
objective flinction for a
as follows,
U[7r,K].
We specify U[.] as a Cobb-Douglas fiinction, which provides a succinct way of
representing the differing weights placed on profit (0<P<1) and size (0<y<1),
(A-2)
32
U
=
The
/*K\
first-order condition for utility
Jensen firm
=
(A-3)
.
is
maximization with respect
to the choice
of K by a
as follows,
p*/''*K^*(fK[K,L]-(r+5))
+
j*n^*K'''\
(A-4)
we
Rearranging (A-4),
capital
obtain the following equafion for the marginal product of
(MPK / fK[K,L]) that implicitly
MPK^ = MPK^ +
determines the optimal capital stock,
(A-
(j),
5a)
(|)
= _(y/p)*(7r/K)<0.
(A-
5b)
where
MPK
and
MPK
are the
MPK's
determined by optimizing behavior by Jensen
and standard neoclassical firms, respectively. The key relations
alternative utility functions.
replaced by a
CES
When the Cobb-Douglas
(with substitution elasficity
r|)
in
(A-5) are robust to
specificafion in (A-3)
or a linear function with
is
% and
K as
arguments, the ^ in equation (A-5b) becomes -(y/p)*(7r/K)'^ and -(y/p), respectively.
There are several interesting features to
MPK
from adjustments for depreciation and
risk,
shareholders, and hence ^ in (A-5a)
equal to
is
this
(r
model highlighted by (A-5). Apart
is
-
r
the discount rate required
).
If the firm is operating in a
perfectly competitive environment with constant retums to scale (7r=0), then
and
we obtain the
by
(j)
=
0,
standard neoclassical relation equating the marginal product of
capital to its user cost. This result reflects that Jensen-type
exist in equilibrium only if
some
rents accrue.
govemance problems can
The discount
rate
gap
will also
be zero
33
if
executives receive
utility
utility
only from profit (y=0) or
if
executives obtain perquisite
only from variables not entering the value maximization problem, such as an
honorary seat on a local
arts council.
However, such a
seat is
more
likely to
be
offered the larger the size of the firm. For the Jensen fimi, the standard neoclassical
relation fails to hold because executives obtain perquisite utility (y>0) in a non-
competitive environment (7i>0).
F
S
estimates of (r -f).
It
is
precisely these effects that are captured
by our
34
Appendix B
The Real Risk-Adjusted Market Discount
And Data
Variable Construction
The discount
factor
(Ri,t,
market discount rate defined
=
r,,t
Rate:
Sources
defined in (9)) depends on the real, risk-adjusted
in the text
(
0) as follows,
1
(Bl)
((l+i,,t)/(l^'t))-1.0.
This rate discounts annual cash flows fi"om the middle-of-period
period t+1
.
The equity
risk
three-factor (FF3) models.
premium
estimated by the
is
The components of rt
t
to the middle-of-
CAPM or the Fama-French
are defined
and constructed
as
follows,
Nominal, short-term,
ii,t
risk adjusted
company
the middle-of-period (MOP) t to the
.
N -DEBT
X -EQUITY
y-i
/I
^(1-T,,t)l
+ (l-?w)l
i.t.
cost of capital fi^om
MOP t+1,
-,
,
t
•
1
DEBT
Nominal, one year, Commercial Paper
t
MOP t+1
.
This rate
is
rate fi-om the
MOP
t
constructed fi-om monthly data for the
Canadian 90-day Commercial Paper Rate, average of daily
(CANSIM
B 140 17).
series
to the
into beginning-of-period
rates
These monthly data are converted
(BOP) monthly data
for January, April,
and October by averaging the monthly data in the preceding
and current months. For example, the January BOP rate is the
arithmetic average of the monthly December and January rates.
July,
TO.
The
and
nr\Tt
BOP rates are representedJ as
i
i
4.
t.ocr-
The one year
-DEBT
-DEBT
-DEBT
tjuL,
uan, i
iapr? i
1
MOP rate is constructed fi:om these
BOP rates as follows,
r/1
•
I
DEBT
[(1+1
\ /I
•
DEBT
\ /i
I
t,JUL)(l+l
•
,
t,OCT)(l+l
DEBT
a /i
t+ 1. J
•
,
an) (1+1
DEBT
nt.25
t+l,APR)]
-
1.
•EQUTTY
1
i.t
Nominal, short-term,
MOP
•F
+
t
to the
a,.
risk adjusted cost
MOP t+1.
of equity
capital fi-om the
35
i
"=
t
Nominal, one year,
the
MOP t+1
.
risk free
This rate
is
Treasury
Bill rate
from the
MOP
t
to
constructed from monthly data for the
Canadian 90-day Treasury
average yields
Bill Rate,
at
weekly
(CANSIM series B 14007). These monthly data are
converted into BOP monthly data fr)r January, April, July, and
auctions
October by averaging the monthly data in the preceding and
current months. For example, the January BOP rate is the
arithmetic average of the monthly December and January rates.
The BOP rates are represented as i.jan, i.apr, t,juL, and t.ocTThe one year MOP rate is constructed from these BOP rates as
i
i
i
i
follows,
[(1+UjUl)
=
71^
(l+iWl)
(l+iVl,JAN) (1+i^+l.APR)]^^
Oneyearinflationratefrom
theMOP
constructed from monthly All Items
(CANSIM
into
series
theMOPt+1
Price Index data
P700000). These monthly data are converted
BOP monthly data for July by
inflation rate is constructed
(CPIt.,,JUL/CPI,JUL)
=
to
Consumer
averaging the monthly data in
June and July, and are represented as
a
t
- 1.
-
CPIt.juL-
from these
The one year
BOP rates
MOP
as follows:
1.0.
Equity risk premium. The methods used to estimate
a, are
discussed below.
=
Ti,t
Marginal rate of corporate income taxation (federal and
provincial) incorporating variation across time and industries.
=
Xi
Finn specific leverage ratio calculated as the time-average of bonds
(bonds + equity), where bonds are at book value and equity at
market value.
Two methods
Under
the
CAPM,
are used to estimate the equity risk
premium,
a.
/
36
O,
=
n
EQUITY
/
Fx
(B2)
- |i
),
Pi (|I
where
CAPM
from Hatch and White (1988, Table 5-36). These
industry P's are assigned to firms on the basis of the Toronto
Pi
(3
Stock Exchange's industry classification.
EQUITY
The source
Total return on equities from 1950-1986: 0.1 148.
is
Hatch and White (1988, Table 5-15).
F
Total return on risk free Treasury bills from 1950-1986: 0.0584.
The source
Hatch and White (1988, Table
is
5-5).
We also measure the equity risk premium using the Fama and French (1993)
three-factor
a,
=
where
model (FF3),
n EMR
[i
EMR
|i
p,
is
+
,
r,
p,
SMB
SMB
|i
+
,
n
HML
a mathematical expectation,
HML
(B3)
\i
Pi
EMR is the excess market retum
(value-weighted market retum minus risk-free
rate),
HML is the book-to-market risk factor,
P
factor loadings
The
on these three
p
,
,
SMB is the size risk factor, and
and P
risk factors.
portfolios are constructed as follows: firms
a given year
if:
1)
are the firm-specific
book equity (common stock
available) and market equity for the
were included
capital, plus deferred
in the
sample in
income taxes
end of the previous year were available
if
in the
Financial Post dataset; and 2) returns data for the current year were available from the
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE)-Westem dataset. All firms in the sample
year were ranked on size (using market equity) and
split into
in a
given
small and big (S and B)
depending on whether they were above or below the median. All firms
in the
sample
37
in a
given year were then ranked by the ratio of book equity to market equity with
breakpoints for the bottom
30%
(Low), middle
Six portfoHos (S/L, S/M, S/H, B/L,
40%
(Medium), and top
B/M, B/H) were constructed from
30%
(High).
the intersection
of the two size and three book-to-market categories, and monthly value-weighted
returns on the six portfolios
were calculated
for each calendar year.
SMB is defined as the difference, each month, between the simple average of
the returns
on the three small firm portfolios (S/L, S/M, and S/H) and the
corresponding simple average of the returns on the three big firm portfolios.
HML is
defined as the difference, each month, between the simple average of the returns on
the
two high-book-to-market
portfolios
and the corresponding simple average of the
retums on the two low-book-to-market portfolios.
The
i
factor loadings
on the three
were estimated from a regression of excess retums
risk factors at a
monthly frequency,
[i
,\i
annualized geometric means of the three risk factors over
1986 inclusive.
,
all
and
\i
for finn
are the
months from 1973
to
38
Table
1
Summary
The
Statistics
entries are the
median, [mean], and (standard deviation) of the indicated variable
calculated from 1975 to 1985 for 193 Canadian firms.
COST is variable costs (sales
minus operafing income) divided by K$, the current dollar replacement cost of the
fixed capital stock. DEBT is short and long term debt divided by K$. FCF] is free
cash flow defined as cash flow (revenues less cash expenses including tax and interest
payments)
less
dividends
(all for
the previous year) divided
by K$. FCF2
is
an
altemative definition of free cash flow defined as cash flow less dividends (averaged
two years) all divided by K$. INVT is gross capital expenditures on
property, plant and equipment divided by K$. p is the tax-adjusted price of
investment goods relative to the price of output. Q is the Brainard-Tobin Q, the
financial value of the firm less the tax depreciation bond less K$ (adjusted for taxes)
all divided by the fixed capital stock valued in terms of the price of output (see
footnote 10 for details), r
andr
are the real risk-adjusted market discount rates
defined in Section 4.2 and Appendix B with the equity risk premia estimated by the
CAPM and Fama-French three-factor (FF3) models, respectively. REV is revenues
divided by K$. SIZE equals K$ stated in millions of Canadian dollars. N is the
number of firm/year observations. Column 1 is for all firms in the sample. Columns
2 and 3 are sorted by whether a firm's primary operations are in the oil industry, TSE
Industry 300; columns 4 and 5 are sorted by whether fimi/year observations for Free
Cash Flow (FCFi) are in the top 2/3 of their industry in a given year and firm/year
observations for investment opportuniries (Q) are in the bottom 2/3 of their industry
in a given year. For fiirther details about data definitions and the sorting variables,
see Sections 4 and 5, respecfively.
for the previous
39
Table
1
Summary
Statistics
(Continued)
All Firms
High Free Cash Flow
Oil Industry
&
Poor Investment Opportunities
COST
DEBT
FCF,
FCF2
INVT
P^
Yes
No
Yes
No
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
2.406
1.223
2.609
2.174
2.538
[4.195]
[2.993]
[4.382]
[3.575]
[4.656]
(6.096)
(5.546)
(6.158)
(4.484)
(7.026)
1.001
0.671
1.046
0.809
1.258
[1.559]
[1.228]
[1.611]
[1.074]
[1.920]
(1.978)
(1.888)
(1.987)
(0.971)
(2.411)
0.071
0.071
0.071
0.083
0.055
[0.069]
[0.076]
[0.068]
[0.090]
[0.054]
(0.063)
(0.054)
(0.064)
(0.039)
(0.073)
0.067
0.069
0.067
0.078
0.055
[0.067]
[0.072]
[0.066]
[0.083]
[0.056]
(0.053)
(0.044)
(0.055)
(0.038)
(0.060)
0.170
0.201
0.166
0.151
0.187
[0.248]
[0.260]
[0.246]
[0.192]
[0.289]
(0.350)
(0.224)
(0.366)
(0.205)
(0.423)
0.952
0.955
0.951
0.965
0.940
[0.979]
[0.986]
[0.979]
[0.988]
[0.973]
(0.168)
(0.171)
(0.168)
(0.166)
(0.170)
40
Table
1
Summary
Statistics
(Continued)
All Firms
High
Oil Industry
Freie
Cash Flow
&
Poor
(1)
Q
CAPM
r
r^""^
REV
SIZE
N
Inv(jstment Opportunities
Yes
No
Yes
No
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
-0.905
0.203
-0.409
-0.128
-0.455
[0.688]
[0.287]
[0.750]
[-0.897]
[1.865]
(5.911)
(1.897)
(6.309)
(1.651)
(7.460)
0.040
0.050
0.036
0.043
0.038
[0.040]
[0.049]
[0.039]
[0.037]
[0.043]
(0.036)
(0.034)
(0.036)
(0.033)
(0.038)
0.032
0.030
0.041
0.027
0.035
[0.035]
[0.043]
[0.033]
[0.031]
[0.037]
(0.039)
(0.039)
(0.039)
(0.037)
(0.040)
2.834
1.474
3.067
2.510
3.059
[4.733]
[3.373]
[4.945]
[3.964]
[5.304]
(6.577)
(5.987)
(6.640)
(4.719)
(7.625)
62.783
80.438
60.575
65.147
61.129
[323.956]
[466.056] [301.833]
[370.240] [289.567]
(689.773)
(989.789) (627.847)
(783.628) (608.836)
2123
286
1837
905
1218
41
Table
2
Assessing Governance Problems
GMM estimates of equation (8); discount factor defined in equation
parameters in columns
and
1
3 are estimated
(9).
The
based on the Fama-French three-factor
(FF3) estimate of the equity risk premium; cokmins 2 and 4 are based on the
CAPM
estimate of the equity risk premium. Contrasting classes are defined in the rows as
row
firms with their primary operations in the oil industry (TSE industry
300); row 2, firm/year observafions for which Free Cash Flow (FCFi) is in the top 2/3
of their industry in a given year intersected with the finn/year observations for which
follows:
1
,
investment opportunities (Q) are in the bottom 2/3 of their industry in a given year;
row 3, the same procedure as used in row 2 with FCFi replaced by Averaged Free
Cash Flow (FCF2); row
4, the
same procedure
as used in
row 2 with FCFi replaced by
the investment/capital ratio (INVT). Variables are defined in Table
and Appendix B
for
more
extensive definitions,
(r
-
r )
=
(j)
is
1
;
the gap
see Section 4
between the
discount rates used by executives and shareholders for firms indicated by the
label.
\\i
is
the parameter capturing deviations
compefifion.
A value of
v|;
from constant returns
less than unity is consistent
row
to scale or perfect
with decreasing returns to
scale regardless of the competifive nature of output markets or increasing returns
and
a sufficient degree of imperfect competition to force the marginal return to capital
below
its
economic
average return. In either case,
rents.
The instruments
it
implies that the firnis are earning positive
are listed in footnote
8.
Standard errors are in
parentheses. ***, **, and * indicate statistical significant at the 1%,
levels, respectively.
5%, and 10%
42
Table 2
Assessing Governance Problems
(Continued)
Estimated Parameters
Contrasting Classes
Gap Between
And
Executives'
Measure Of
Economic Rents
Shareholders'
Discount Rates
(r'-r^)
=
¥
(l)
FF3
(1)
1
.
2.
CAPM
(2)
-0.026*
-0.028*
(0.014)
(0.014)
High Free Cash Flow^
-0.035**
-0.040***
&
(0.015)
(0.015)
High Averaged Free Cash Flow
-0.034**
-0.040***
&
(0.015)
(0.015)
Oil Firms
_EE3
(3)
CAPM
(4)
0.955*** 0.956***
(0.004)
(0.004)
0.953*** 0.954***
(0.004)
(0.004)
Poor Investment Opportunities
3.
0.953*** 0.954***
(0.004)
(0.004)
Poor Investment Opportunities
4.
High Investment
-0.034*** -0.023*
&
(0.013)
Poor Investment Opportunities
(0.013)
0.953*** 0.954***
(0.004)
(0.004)
43
Table 3
Curing Free Cash Flow Problems?
GMM estimates of equation (8); discount factor defined in equation (9).
parameters in columns
and
1
3 are estimated
based on the Fama-French
The
tliree-factor
(FF3) estimate of the equity risk premium; coluinns 2 and 4 are based on the
CAPM
estimate of the equity risk premium. All of the results in this table are based on the
following "Jensen" sub-sample of finn/year observations constnjcted from the
sample: the firm/year observations for which Free Cash Flow (FCFi)
is
full
in the top 2/3
of their industry in a given year intersected with the firm/year observations for which
investment opportunities (Q) are in the bottom 2/3 of their industry in a given year.
Based on this Jensen sub-sample, contrasting classes are defined in the rows as
follows:
median
row
1
,
firm/year observations for which debt
for their industry in a given year;
that brings together
row
3,
many
row
2,
(DEBT)
is
greater than the
firms related to a Canadian group
distinct enterprises with their
firms that either have one shareholder having
own
50%
or
publicly-traded shares;
more of the shares or
that
by another finn. Variables are defined in Table 1 see
for more extensive definitions, y^ is the parameter
measuring the difference between (r - r ) for one class of Jensen firms influenced by
the control mechanism indicated by the row label and (r - r' ) for a contrasting class
of Jensen firms Vv/ithout the control mechanism, y is the parameter capturing
deviations from constant returns to scale or perfect competition. A value of vj/ less
are effectively controlled
Section 4 and Appendix
than unity
is
;
B
consistent with decreasing returns to scale regardless of the competitive
nature of output markets or increasing returns and a sufficient degree of imperfect
competition to force the marginal return to capital below
its
average return. In either
implies that the firms are eaming positive economic rents. The instruments
are listed in footnote 8. Standard errors are in parentheses. ***, **, and * indicate
case,
it
stafistical significant at the
1%, 5%, and 10%
levels, respectively.
44
Table 3
Curing Free Cash Flow Problems?
(Continued)
Estimated Parameters
Contrasting Classes
Reduction In The
Gap Between
Executives' And
Measure Of
Economic Rents
Shareholders'
Discount Rates
-¥-
_EE3_
(1)
1.
2.
3.
High Debt
Group Membership
Concentrated Ownership
CAPM
(2)
-0.006
-0.005
(0.022)
(0.020)
0.021
0.019
(0.023)
(0.024)
0.048**
(0.020)
0.039**
(0.020)
JEE3
(3)
CAPM
(4)
0.963*** 0.963***
(0.006)
(0.006)
0.963*** 0.962***
(0.006)
(0.006)
0.963*** 0.963***
(0.006)
(0.005)
45
Table 4
Capital Structure
And Financing Problems
GMM estimates of equation (8); discount factor defined in equation
parameters in columns
1
and
3 are estimated
(9).
The
based on the Fama-French three-factor
(FF3) estimate of the equity risk premium; columns 2 and 4 are based on the
CAPM
estimate of the equity risk premium. Contrasting classes are defined in the rows as
row
which investment opportunities (Q) are
in the top 2/3 of their industry in a given year intersected with the finns that do not
have a bond rating; row 2, the same procedure as used in row 1 with the absence of a
bond rating replaced by the firm/year observations for which debt (DEBT) is in the
top 2/3 of their industry in a given year; row 3, the same procedure as used in row 1
with the absence of a bond rating replaced by the firms for which size (SIZE) is in the
see Section 4 and
bottom 2/3 of the sample. Variables are defined in Table
Appendix B for more extensive definitions, (r - r ) = p is the difference between the
discount rates on outside and inside fijnds for firms indicated by the row label.
is
follows:
1,
the firm/year observations for
1
;
\\i
the parameter capturing deviations fi^om constant returns to scale or perfect
competition.
A value of
v|/
less than unity is consistent with decreasing returns to
scale regardless of the competitive nature of output markets or increasing returns and
a sufficient degree of imperfect competition to force the marginal return to capital
below its average return. In either case, it implies that the firms are earning positive
economic rents. The instruments are listed in footnote 8. Standard errors are in
parentheses. ***, **, and * indicate statisfical significant at the 1%, 5%, and 10%
levels, respectively.
46
Table 4
Capital Structure
And Financing Problems
(Continued)
Estimated Parameters
Contrasting Classes
Difference Between
Discount Rates
Outside
And
On
Measure Of
Economic Rents
Inside
Funds
,0
(^
1
-
»•
_EE3
(1)
1
.
No Bond Rating
0.090***
.
)
=p
CAPM
(2)
0.095***
¥
_EE3
(3)
CAPM
(4)
0.954***
0.954***
&
Good
2.
(0.017)
&
3.
0.076***
(0.016)
(0.004)
0.074***
(0.016)
0.956*** 0.957***
(0.004)
(0.004)
Investment Opportunities
Small Size
&
Good
(0.004)
Investment Opportunities
High Debt
Good
(0.016)
0.091***
(0.016)
Investment Opportunities
0.089***
(0.016)
0.956*** 0.957***
(0.004)
(0.004)
[email protected], 03:02
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Subject: Your SSRN Abstract Submission
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To: <[email protected]>
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